Emotional wellness is an important aspect of mental health that allows you to maintain a healthy lifestyle, while still being able to handle the stress of daily life.
Within this section you will find information on what defines emotional wellness and how it can affect life with CF, key components that contribute to emotional wellness, and strategies to help develop and maintain emotional wellness.
Emotional wellness is part of mental health that helps you cope with challenging life events. Over time, how you respond to stressors has long-term effects on your physical and mental wellbeing.
Emotional wellness can look different for many people. However, a common theme in those with healthy emotional wellness is that they can adapt to changes in their life and look at these changes as opportunities to use their coping skills.
It is important for people living with CF to learn about the different ways to develop and maintain healthy emotional wellness. Living with CF on a day-to-day basis and managing symptoms are only a few factors that may cause stress and can challenge your mental health. By growing your emotional wellness, you can better equip yourself with the tools needed to deal with stressors and achieve your optimal health.
One important thing to consider is that you are your best advocate for your emotional wellness and ultimately, your mental wellbeing. It can be challenging to be vulnerable with this aspect of health. However, building your confidence, resilience and emotional strength can really make a difference in achieving your goals and optimizing your physical health.
You can foster your emotional wellness in several ways, and you do not have to do it alone. Referring to the factors that contribute to emotional wellness, you can find ways to enhance these factors such as those listed below:
Take control of your situation by really understanding your illness and what you require to maximize your care, such as asking about medication administration. Communicate with your social supports and healthcare team about your emotional wellness. Write down what you would like to discuss in your appointment and call attention to your concerns. Take part in activities where you excel and surround yourself with people who make you feel comfortable and confident in yourself.
Prioritize a healthy sleep schedule by setting a time in the evening when you can comfortably and consistently go to sleep. Avoid using your phone, laptop or other devices before going to bed and perhaps take a warm bath before bed to relax your mind. Consider having a non-caffeinated beverage to put your body at ease and prepare you for sleep.
Practice mindfulness to recognize the situations that cause your body and mind to be stressed (anxious, fidgeting, avoiding responsibility, trouble sleeping, etc.) and acknowledge that you must work to minimize these events. Prioritize your tasks for the day so that you can remain focus on what is important to you and needs your full attention
Surround yourself with social supports that are active and willing to participate in your care. Find people who make you feel safe and people who you can confide in when the stress of CF starts to become burdensome. Prioritize time to be open about the successes and challenges in your care to your social supports.
Be present in your care by being active in your appointments and asking questions when you require clarity. Be present in your daily life by practicing gratitude (e.g., each day reflect on 3 things that you are grateful for and drive you to achieve your health goals and be your best self).
Do your best to participate in moderate exercise (if tolerable) every day for at least 30 minutes. Perhaps ask a friend or loved one to accompany you to an exercise session or class, like a spin class or the gym. If moderate exercise is challenging, try some low-intensity workouts like taking walks, doing yoga or active stretching. Make sure to stay on top of any medications that will help support your body through your exercise regimen.